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Thread: fine mesh resin in 23 year old softener-problems!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lgeorge's Avatar
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    Default fine mesh resin in 23 year old softener-problems!

    The system:
    Filtersoft 102-30mp (1990)
    Autotrol 460mp control w/2.5gpm backwash valve
    10x36 resin tank (13/16 (small) pipe

    The water:
    28gpg hardness
    .9ppm iron (h2s present)
    7.1pH
    290ppm TDS

    The problem:
    Though the system has run without fault for almost 23 years, capacity has been noticeably reduced over the years often leaving us with hard water when using the clothes washer. I thought I would give changing the resin bed a try and after a little (maybe TOO little!) research decided to use fine mesh resin due to the iron in our water. I bought 1ft3 of Purolite C100EFM and did the replacement without much difficulty. I re-used the original tube assembly as the slots appear to be pretty darn fine, or are they? I haven't noticed any beads at the taps yet!

    When starting the system, I did NOT do anything besides open the valves and run some water (mistake?). The water ran very yellow so I initiated a regeneration (another mistake?). I suspected I was losing resin during the backwash and that turned out to be over 1/2 of it into the sump and out to the ditch!!!

    So now I'm looking for some advice as to how to do it properly! Did my improper, or lack of pre-filling the tank cause the loss of resin? Is a filter on the outlet needed? Or even posible on this unit? Is the original filter and pipe ok to use?

    While I'm asking questions, I'll ask one about the brine tank - it has no float valve. I was told at the time that the softener only puts enough water in the tank for the next regen, is this true? Do current systems run this way?

    Thanks for all help!

  2. #2
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Considering the age of the system, I would have recommended replacing the system. You got your moneys worth.

    That being said, you should always replace the bottom screen when re-bedding a system. The system should be backwashed according to the manufacturers recommendation and must be adjusted for media type and water temperature. Fine mesh resin requires less water to backwash so if you did not adjust the Drain line flow control, you can easily lose a lot of resin out the drain during regeneration.
    The old Autotrol valves have a clear check valve assembly on the valve. A safety float can be added to the system and will not affect anything. Assuming the valve is functioning corretly, the Autotrols are timed refill so they should put in a pre-determined amount of water back into the brine tank.

    When was the last time you had your water tested? Do you have a hach 5B test kit?

    Just use regular resin and intermittently clean the resin with a resin cleaner if you are not going to remove the iron prior to the softener. Since you have H2S, you may want to look at updating your system with some more modern equipment that addresses your water problems more accurately.

    Also, the TDS and hardness conflict, can you get an updated water test?

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member lgeorge's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, dittohead. The water test is from '97 - somewhat dated! We are presently on well water but will be going on treated municipal water within two years so I don't want to spend a lot of money on configuring treatment for the well water.
    In the parts diagram I have I don't see any reference to a drain flow control, so I'm guesing the backwash valve performs that function?
    I've reset the controller to12000 grains capacity in view of the lost resin and will monitor things for a while to see what happens. If nothing else, this has been a learning experience!

  4. #4
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Name:  dlfc at.jpg
Views: 193
Size:  47.4 KBThis is not exactly what you have, but the design is similar. you will notice a plug that is the DLFC. It will usually have a number on it rather than the flow rate. 8 = 1.7 gpm, 9=2.2 gpm, 10=2.7 gpm, 12=3.9 gpm.

    Inside the numbered cap is a ball. Be sure the ball is in place. I would limp your system along until the new water supply comes in. You could buy another bag of resin (regular mesh) and add it to the tank so it will work much better, and it is cheap to do.

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